Date: September 23, 2013

McClay v. Airport Management Services Inc. – Legal Reform

Tennessee Supreme Court

Plaintiff, who was injured in the Nashville airport when a panel from a drink cooler in the Hudson News store fell, and struck the back of her foot, was awarded $444,500 for future medical expenses and $930,000 for noneconomic damages. The defendant asked the federal district court to apply the cap. In response, the plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the limit. The district court then certified the issue to the Tennessee Supreme Court.


Yebuah v. Center for Urological Treatment – Legal Reform

Tennessee Court of Appeals

NFIB Legal Center filed in this case to defend Tennessee’s constitutional cap on non-monetary damages. This is one of several cases in which the Center has engaged on this issue.


Biery v. United States – Legal Reform

U.S. Supreme Court – cert petition

This case presents an important issue for the small business community because it raises a question as to how attorney’s fees should be calculated and awarded to individuals or businesses who successfully litigate claims against the United States. More specifically, the petition asks whether it was appropriate for the court of federal claims to reduce an attorney’s fee award 38% below market rate after the federal government forced the petitioners to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain the compensation they were owed for the taking of their properties. Given the exorbitant costs of litigation—and the difficulties presented in litigating against the government—it is important that we protect the right of business owners to fully recoup attorney’s fees in these cases. And as suggested in our amicus brief, it is also important ensure full attorneys fee awards in these cases as a means to discourage wasteful litigation practices, or to otherwise dissuade the authorities from taking unnecessarily aggressive positions in litigation.


Lindenberg v. Jackson National Life Insur. Co. – Legal Reform

Tennessee Supreme Court

On certification from the federal district court in Memphis, the Tennessee Supreme Court will determine the constitutionality of the cap on punitive damages. 


Cullum v. Walmart – Legal Reform

Tennessee Supreme Court

The case concerns a woman injured in the parking lot of a Walmart. The woman was struck by a car driving by another customer who’d been kicked out of the discount store minutes earlier, allegedly for being belligerently drunk. The injured woman filed a negligence suit against the woman who struck her as well as Walmart, raising questions about whether the retailer did enough to protect its customers. The trial court dismissed the case, but the court of appeals said the store should have done more to keep to its other customers from harm.


If you have a case that impacts small business, please contact us at:  1-800-552-NFIB as we are actively looking for opportunities to weigh in on important issues in this state. NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in many cases that impact this state and others; to see our complete list of Supreme Court cases click on Washington, DC on the interactive map.

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